The Stand (Possessing Powers)
March 1, 2013 – March 30, 2013
“The Stand (Possessing Powers)” is a series of sculptures by Lily Cox-Richard based on the works of neoclassical artist Hiram Powers, the so-called Father of American Sculpture.
“The Stand (Possessing Powers)” is a series of sculptures by Lily Cox-Richard based on the works of neoclassical artist Hiram Powers, the so-called Father of American Sculpture. The Stand explores the props used in American Neo-classical sculpture and how they function both structurally and allegorically. Her carved plaster sculptures focus on those elements that structurally support the figure in Powers’ works. They are originals and copies, homage and critique, familiar and strange, created in an attempt to see what new content might be revealed when figure and ground begin to conflate.
Taken out of historical context, the cultural significance of these physical elements of the sculpture seem vague. For example, in Powers’ “The Last of the Tribes,” a Native American woman’s skirt brushes a tree stump as she runs. The stump and skirt stabilize the statue by buttressing it to its base. This is both the literal and symbolic point of contact between nature and culture. Cox-Richard frees the stump from its role as support and presents it as free-standing sculpture, raising a multitude of questions historical, cultural, and logistical in nature.
Lily Cox-Richard is an Assistant Professor at the School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan. She was awarded a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship at the SAAM in 2012, to do research on her project “The Stand.” She received a BFA from California College of the Arts and an MFA in Sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University. She now lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan as a fellow in the Michigan Society of Fellows.